As well as direct human impacts, Australia is seeing an increase in feral pest species that add to the pressure on our environment.

Is it too late to bring the red fox under control?

The red fox may be the most destructive species ever introduced to Australia. For a start, it carries most of the blame for Australia’s appalling record of recent mammal extinctions. Since European settlement, mainland Australia has lost at least 20 mammal species, far more than any other country over‚Ķ

The protected pest: deer in Australia

Deer are arguably the most charismatic of Australia’s invasive species. Long considered a welcome addition to the Australian environment, primarily as a highly valued hunting resource, deer populations have flourished under legislation providing for their protection. However, perceptions are changing, and deer are now recognised as among Australia’s greatest pest threats.

Like rabbits and foxes, all six deer species with recognised wild populations (Fallow, Red, Sambar, Rusa, Hog, Chital) were released into Australia for aesthetic and recreational hunting purposes during the ...

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Feral felines: managing their impact on native fauna

Feral cats are a significant threat to Australian fauna species

Australian fauna have suffered serious declines since European settlement, with small-and medium-sized mammals being the worst affected. Feral cats depredate native birds, mammals and reptiles and are listed as a Key Threatening Process under the Commonwealth EPBC Act. Reducing the harmful impact of feral cats on native fauna presents wildlife managers with a formidable challenge.

Domestic cats came to Australia with European ...

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Dingo: great hunter, great conservation hope?

Although the dingo has only been in Australia for less than 5000 years it has become a keystone predator. There is debate as to whether it is native. Since the other large marsupial predators have become extinct it is a type of honorary native species and some say they have a place protecting mammal biodiversity now. As the top order carnivore they are considered the most significant constraint on the destructive power of exotic predators like foxes and cats. This ...

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Sambar deer

After a lengthy process, the Sambar Deer has formally been listed as a threat to biodiversity in Victoria, and will be listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.

Deer populations are increasing every year in Gippsland and their behaviour is threatening very sensitive areas such as rainforests and riparian forests. They can grow up to 1.2 metres tall at the shoulders and weigh 240 kg. They are like a small horse. They browse on native plants, some of which are ...

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State of the Parks Report June 2007

A fox is caught in the act as it passes an infrared motion sensor site. Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria26,000 kms of roads in forests.

Victoria has 3.4 million ha of forest. East Gippsland has 1 million ha of that, but this region only covers a tiny 4% of the state.

Throughout all of Victoria’s forests, ...

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Climate Change, fires and logging – the deadly combination for Victoria’s species

Two hundred years ago the Sooty owl was abundant and fed on about 18 species of ground prey in Gippsland. Today they have only two or three to chose from. Other species are under similar pressure.

Many of our native animals have become sparser in numbers and their range has shrunk. Some, like the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Federally listed but not State listed), are now isolated in small “island” populations which are dangerously close to extinction mainly due to ...

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Feral fat cats

New research into feral cats reveals the predators can be a fat and healthy lot, gorging on everything from fairy penguins to McDonald’s. The study of stomach contents in Tasmania has found the pests can consume massive amounts. Cats store fat on internal organs and breed out of season. Zoology honours student, Kylie Cahill, has dissected 85 feral cats as part of her study. All but a couple of the females had recently bred and were lactating, despite summer being ...

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